No matter which category you fall into, whether you’re an uber competitive sports parent or a chilled out development minded coach or even a team orientated player, we can all spread good will by showing good will to our opponents;
- Praise good actions
- Have conversations
- Encourage them
- Wish them well
It doesn’t have to be complicated. It doesn’t have to be forced. It just has to be positive. Positivity goes a surprsingly long way especially when it comes from strangers or in a sporting case, the ‘enemy’.
But wait, a second why would we want to do that?
Well, because they are just like us.
Furthermore without our opponents, there’s no game, there’s no competition, we have no-one to play, we have no one to beat, no one to tease!
It can be so easy to get caught up in our team’s journey but remember that the team we play have their own stuff going on too. Similar to us and our team, they have their own goals, their coaching staff, their players, their parents, all their personal stories. This is real life at play, not just a match in isolation.
Though, come match day it is so easy to forget that.
‘Frenemies’ over on Insta @coachingdiaries
We’ve all seen it, where the match day occasion is a little heated, there is seemingly a lot on the line, maybe it’s a big cup game, or that game against the rivals from across town. Our players are nervous because the coach is nervous because the parents are nervous because the players are nervous and so the cycle continues!
I know I’ve been there. But if we can step out of that pressured bubble we get caught up in for a second and just look at the big picture, it becomes far easier to appreciate everything and that definitely includes our opponents.
So whatever role you play when it comes to match-day, make a conscious effort to rise above the crowd and praise your opponents whenever you get the opportunity. Show them love with no expectation of getting back anything in return and see what effect it has.
Keep this up. Over the weeks and months, make it a part of who you are. A champion of the game. Then, quietly observe…
Watch not only on your opponents, but your players, parents, coaching staff. I’m sure you will see a different group of people than before.
Try it, see what happens and let me know.